Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Borussia Dortmund 0 - 1 Arsenal: Gunners battle to superb Champions League away win in Germany

DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06:  Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Borussia Dortmund and Olivier Giroud of Arsenal battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Borussia Dortmund and Olivier Giroud of Arsenal battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal
Dortmund's Neven Subotic, left, and Dortmund's Kevin Grosskreutz, right, challenge Arsenal's Mesut Ozil during the Champions League group F soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday,Nov.6,2013. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Dortmund's Jakub Blaszczykowski, right, and Arsenal's Santi Cazorla challenge for the ball during the Champions League group F soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Arsenal's Bacary Sagna, left, is challenged by Dortmund's Sven Bender during the Champions League group F soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday,Nov.6,2013. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger walks to his seat during the Champions League group F soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Dortmund's Neven Subotic, 2nd right, reacts after going close with a shot during the Champions League group F soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday,Nov.6,2013. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Arsenal players pose for a team photo prior to the Champions League group F soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Neven Subotic of Borussia Dortmund clashes Olivier Giroud of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Henrik Mkhitaryan of Borussia Dortmund and Mesut Oezil of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Henrik Mkhitaryan of Borussia Dortmund and Santi Cazorla of Arsenal battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund and Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund and Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Mikel Arteta of Arsenal tackles Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund tackles Mikel Arteta of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Kevin Groskreutz of Borussia Dortmund tackles Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Kevin Groskreutz of Borussia Dortmund tackles Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund sits on the pitch during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund sits on the pitch during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal tackles Jakub Blaszczykowski of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal tackles Neven Subotic of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Mikel Arteta of Arsenal tackles Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Borussia Dortmund line up prior to the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Nuri Sahin of Borussia Dortmund marshalls Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal duriung the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Head Coach Jurgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund smiles prior to the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Head Coach Jurgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Signal Iduna Park on November 6, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Arsenal battled to a superb 1-0 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund as a second half goal from Aaron Ramsey proved enough to take all three points away from the Germans' Westfalenstadion fortress.

Dortmund had come into the Group F encounter searching for an eighth successive home Champions League win and had never lost against English opposition.

Jurgen Klopp's well-drilled side, who had won 2-1 in London a fortnight ago, dominated for long spells, but were made to pay for not converting their chances when Ramsey nodded home a knockdown from Olivier Giroud on 62 minutes.

It may not have been the flowing display which manager Arsene Wenger would have preferred - but the Barclays Premier League leaders once again answered questions with a display of real character to hand a rare defeat to last season's beaten finalists.

With Napoli beating Marseille, Arsenal still have work to do to secure safe passage through to the knockout stages, but will have gained more belief they can last the distance this season.

Arsenal had come into the tie on the back of a 2-0 victory over Liverpool which moved them five points clear at the top of the table.

The Gunners were also unbeaten in 14 away matches in all competitions since recording a famous win at Bayern Munich in March.

Dortmund, though, dominated the first half and were left counting the cost of not making the most of that spell in control, where the English side could not muster any attack of note and Henrikh Mkhitaryan missed a great chance for Dortmund when he shot wide from the edge of the penalty area after Arsenal were carved open down the right.

Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved well from Jakub Blaszczykowski following the restart, before Ramsey secured what proved to be the winner just after the hour for his 11th goal of the season.

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